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    A journey through Bulgarian cinema

    A journey through Bulgarian cinema thumbnail

    Tracking the last 10 centuries via the art of film from slavery to communism and democracy.

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    This post may be slightly different to the normal content on the sub, but since most of the discussion is about larger film communities and countries i decided to introduce you to a place hidden away from your world. The sad and wonderful history of my county isn’t that well known in America or most western-european countries and through cinema you and me may take a brief glimpse into Bulgarian and the last 80 years of its history.

    The Communist era (1946-1989)

    After being forced to join the Axis powers in WW2 and losing the 5th war in a the 20th century in 1944 a coup d’état was made by the Bulgarian communist party overthrowing the government and changing the country forever. Despite the fact that the first bulgarian movie was called “Bulgaran is Gallant”, a 1915 silent comedy, and the fact that Bulgaria had 40 years of cinematic history the new regime followed the rules and regulations of the USSR and changed the style of cinema significantly.

    The movies of that time were typical for a socialist country and the most popular productions were either a historical drama/epic, a family comedy reflecting society and its values or adaptations of approved by committee novels. If you’ve watched any Russian films of the time(no Tarkovsky doesn’t count he’s different), you would have spotted the sprinkling of propaganda and state messages through the films of that period. Most of the movies demonize past enemies, take jabs at the west and have parts cut of of them due to the strict rules imposed by the regime. Despite all of this, this is widely considered the golden age of cinema in Bulgaria, creating some of the greatest pieces of art from paintings and sculptures to books and movies, the myth of the suffering artist was a reality at the time. Due to the strict rules and limitations of what can and can’t be shown on screen some very talented people thought of a plethora of creative ways to surpass the limitations imposed on them by the communist party, creating cinematic masterpieces. Here are three of them that accurately reflect the time in the country.

    Considered the greatest bulgarian movie of all time, “The Goat Horn” is a cinematic masterpiece to most bulgarians. The movie is legendary, and if you go to film school here it’s basically your “Citizen Kane” your “Godfather” the one film you must understand to understand cinema. And honestly they aren’t wrong. Plus it’s Oscar submission story is a very strange one and if you would like i may tell it in the comments since the post is already very information heavy.The story depicted in the movie is from the darkest period in the 13 centuries that the country’s history spans.

    Ottoman Bulgaria (1396–1878) as it’s known in the West or The Ottoman Slavery as its known in the Balkans was a 5 century Ottoman rule over the bulgarian people, ending in one of the bloodiest uprisings in modern European history with 30,000 man and over 75,000 innocent women and children being slaughtered by the Ottoman forces.

    Here is a brief synopsis:

    The film sends us to the 17th century when Bulgaria was a part of the Ottoman Empire. Four hoodlums break into the house of the shepherd Karaivan, raping and killing his wife in full view of their little girl, Maria. Karaivan decides to take the law into his own hands and becomes enslaved by his violent wish for revenge.

    Here we see an example of historic dramas that were popular at the time, the country knew who their enemies where and who will be portrayed as the bad guys. The movie accurately depicts the times of slavery and oppression, but has a clear message and a goal set in mind, a trend that will become lost as we progress further the list.

    Now Yo-ho-ho is a personal favorite of mine, a very human and unique story that got a remake in 2006 called “The Fall” by Tarsem Singh. I couldn’t find a version with subtitles by since it has a remake you can watch that. Unlike the previous movie this one doesn’t need a lot of explanation, it’s a very human story with a socialist backdrop that doesn’t interfere with the movie at all.

    Here is a brief synopsis:

    An injured actor, threaten to never walk again is visited in the hospital by a young boy with a broken arm. The pair of them strike a conversation in which the actor tell the story of pirates,treasure and adventure to the kid every time the kid visits him, but on one condition the young boy must find him the special “pirate pills” which will help the brave sailor to go to sleep forever.

    Synopsis :

    The 1960s was the time of Beatles and Rolling Stones, the time of sexual revolution. These events have their echo in Bulgarian English-learning school. The school order provokes a protest of the students due to the narrow-minded teachers.

    A year after this movie is released marks the end of The People`s Republic of Bulgaria and the beginning of democracy in the country. The movie is probably the most loved one in the country due to the fact that most adults were exactly the type of people depicted in it. I personally love it since i used to go to the school that the story is about and it was filmed there. The film marks a shift in society and a fantastic slice of history and culture, based on freedom in a country oppressed by the regime. The movie is a trend setter for the next 15 years during which, a lot of taboo topics were being explored on film.

    Bonus Movie

    • “King for a Day”/ ” Господин за един ден ” (1983) IMDB | Movie with subs

    Want to know what the world was before the regime,” A king for a Day” depicts society in the 1930 in a post-war Bulgaria. Inspired by the great silent comedies of that era, the performance in the movie by Todor Kolev is simply breathtaking in its sad comedy. Kolev considered one of the greatest comedians of all time, made 3 super hit movies at the time “The Double” , “A King for a Day” and “Dangerous Charm” depicting the live of silly down on their luck heroes that never manage to win, joining the ranks of Jerry Lewis,Louis de Funès and Charlie Chaplin – with much less falling of course.

    Synopsis:

    The main character Purko (Todor Kolev) is a poor peasant with many children, constantly starting extravagant initiatives to get out of poverty during the hard times between the two world wars. The only consolation he finds in the music with his clarinet and his inborn musical talent until one day he meets an elegant couple from a town. They promise him prosperity if he mortgage his house and invest the money in their business.

    After the fall of communism, early democracy (1989-2008)

    Now this era is the shortest one and the strangest. After the fall of the regime the first couple of years were very rough for the bulgarian people, a economic recession, their underdevelopment compared to western society and the lack of stable political landscape made cinema in this period honestly quite random. A lot of indie influences started growing in the cinema world here going opposite the route previously taken by the country in which movies were make by the party for the people. Now movies were made without supervision or restraint leading to a lot of hit and miss projects. Here are three that show the lack of direction and goal at the time.

    “A Letter to America” is probably my favorite bulgarian movie of this period.A very personal and deeply human story that wouldn’t have been made possible during the communist era, depicting the hope and wonder of a bulgarian about the western world whilst finding their place in history and their roots.It shows a forgotten part of the country, people that were living in that moment and after that disappeared forever. The subtitles don’t do justice to the wonderful and unique phrases uttered by some of these characters.

    Synopsis:

    Ivan’s best friend, Kamen, is dying in an American hospital. Since he’s denied a visa to the USA and can’t stay by his side in his last moments, he decides to set off for Bulgaria countryside, taking the camera Kamen has given him in search of a song to bring his friend to life. After some time, he writes her a very special letter, telling all about the places and characters he meets on his way, witnesses to a time which is bound to be forgotten.

    Possibly the most unique movie on this list, its very hard to explain why its good or why its relevant kind of like the main character in the picture. It’s probably the first surrealism or abstract movie to hit the mainstream audience in Bulgaria. Following a very successful TV show Maya Novoselska plays herself(?) but not really herself in this bizarre tale of a modern woman in the country … i think i’m not sure to be honest and i’ve seen the film around 6 times. I am very disappointed i couldn’t find subtitles for this picture because it’s so weirdly unique you have to see it to believe it.

    Synopsis:

    This is a story about a woman, but not completely a woman, because she is funny and plump, because she is a comedienne and being a female comedienne is very difficult work. During the whole time, the comedienne gets in the way of the woman and the woman in the way of the comedienne. In fact, nothing in the life of this woman is ‘completely’. She is an actress, but not completely. She is playing the role of her life, but not completely. In the end she dies, but not completely.

    Since i’m unable to find a good subtitled version i’m going to roughly translate the first minute and a half just to give you a quick taste of the movie.

    I’m starting from the white, and empty sheet of paper, snow, bed sheets, TV screen, you know something you have to fill in. White… It wants a sound, it starts galloping, but I don’t like horses that much I prefer centaurs, any way why am I pretending to be so mysterious, when I know in my head it’s the soft bed sheets white, but that white also has a very well-known finale… another kind of white.

    That guy over there is from the German authority of diversification of colors and color-blindness prevention who says: “There are 173 types of white, 47 symbolic meanings of white, 219 practical uses of white, and this isn’t a commercial for laundry detergent or a reminder that the Russians covered in white the writing in most Georgian churches, this is simply nuance number 97 of white. This is a glazed and expensive kind of white repulsing every kind of pen ink writing.”

    This is simply a white spot in the European Map. Yes it exists. On this kind of map for the western people there is nothing near Greece and to the right of Yugoslavia except this white spot in which due to random circumstance I was born and no matter how much I scream “Im Here! Look at me!” the gaze of the western tourist slips right through me and goes to Chalkidiki and a car round like his belly takes him there. So I dive in my white and I start filling it with stories..

    • “Zift”/”Дзифт” (2008) IMDB

    “Zift” marks a shift in Bulgarian cinema and the end of the wild west years. A truly unique idea, “Zift” is probably the best movie made in the last 20 years. Since its a modern release you can find in in Amazon or in your local torrent site.A neo-noir set during the fall of socialism is a very strange concept that sort of works, filled with strange characters and memorable scenes it perfectly captures the frantic and chaotic world of Bulgaria during the new totalitarian world of the 60s.
    Synospis:

    Moth is freed on parole after spending time in prison on wrongful conviction of murder. Jailed shortly before the Bulgarian communist coup of 1944, he now finds himself in a new and alien world – the totalitarian Sofia of the 60s. His first night of freedom draws the map of a diabolical city full of decaying neighborhoods, gloomy streets and a bizarre parade of characters.

    A year before this movie is released Bulgaria joins the European Union and along with that comes the promise of westernizing the country. The people were promised that a new sort of utopia will rise from the ashes of the promised one during communism and Bulgaria will join with the likes of Germany and France as a member of the EU and a rightful western nation. That sadly didn’t happen and isn’t even close to the truth of current Bulgaria.

    European Bulgaria and the influence of New Age western cinema

    Honestly i hate this current era of movie making here. Were currently playing catch up with the West instead of doing the unique movies of the previous era or the driven and precise movies of socialism. Dont get me wrong its produced a lot of hits in the box office and last year we even had our first Oscar nomination for the short movie “The Blind Vaysha” but it feels like the movies lost their charm and simply fell into the norms dictated by the west. Unlike the film making during communism where rules were meant to be bent and stretched, today modern filmmakers simply make what’s trendy due to the cost of production and the low returns if you strafe away.

    • “The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner”/ “Светът е голям и спасение дебне отвсякъде” (2008) IMDB

    Im simpy not going to write the title of the movie here, fuck that it so long. In the Linklater inspired drama that set the tone for all indie finding-myself dramas to come, a nice and lovely little story is told about love and family and roots and all the other good things that come from these types of movies. Roger Ebert reviewed it and gave it 3 stars which is nice i guess review and it won a lot of awards and international praize.
    Synopsis:

    “World” centers on Alexander, who was born in 1975 in Bulgaria. During the oppressive communist era, he and his parents immigrate to Germany. But when an automobile accident takes the parents’ lives, Alexander’s beloved grandfather, Bai Dan, comes to tend to him.The young man is suffering from amnesia as a result of the accident, and Bai Dan decides to try to restore his memories by taking him on a bicycle journey back to the town in Bulgaria where he was born.

    • “TILT”/”Тилт” (2011) IMDB

    “Tilt” is another of the dramas i was talking about, full of reminiscing about the communist era and revisionism the movie has surprising amount of heart. It follow a basic formula and is successful in that, but feels empty and charmless.Again you can find “Tilt” on Amazon or torrent sites.
    Synopsis:

    TILT is a love story set against the backdrop of the changing political and social environment in Europe in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Can this love survive the challenges of emigration, a violent homeland and immoral social atmosphere thanks to a gang of adventurous friends?

    It may seem like i dont care for these movies and i dont but to be honest there isnt really that much to talk about them. They are passable films that lack an unique touch that is worth discussing in depth. Most of them are fine movies that simply feel like a remake of another movie made in the west.

    • “Mission London”/”Mисия Лондон” (2010) IMDB

    This move is a comedy made by the guys that run the most popular comedy show in the country. Its unique and shows the worldview of a new breed of Bulgarians, believing that they are westerners first and bulgarians second. A lot of good jokes and a lot of bad ones are in it but since comedy is very subjective you may enjoy this one more than i did.The release of the movie was the biggest PR campaign at the time and it gained a lot of traction, possibly becoming the highest grossing movie of the last 20 years.

    A concert to celebrate Bulgaria joining the EU is being planned at the Embassy in London and it is the job of VARADIN, the new ambassador, to ensure the Queen attends. But with corrupt staff, criminal gangs operating out of the kitchen, falling in love with a stripper and a little misunderstanding with a PR firm that provides look-alike royalties – his simple task turns into a chaotic nightmare.

    • Closing Thoughts and What’s Next ? *

    Well if you reached this far you may see the tread of change during the time period i described. From a focused and forces idea for what cinema is supposed to represent to an unique and personal experience and finally to a commercialized chasing trends present and possible future.

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    "Marty" (1955) is the shortest film to win Best Picture at 90 minutes

    "Marty" (1955) is the shortest film to win Best Picture at 90 minutes thumbnail

    At such a short length, the film perfectly captures loneliness and heartache.

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    Marty
    1955 ‧ Drama film/Romance ‧ 1h 34m

    • 7.7/10 IMDb
    • 100% Rotten Tomatoes

    This acclaimed romantic drama follows the life of Marty Piletti (Ernest Borgnine), a stout bachelor butcher who lives with his mother (Esther Minciotti) in the Bronx. Always unlucky in love, Marty reluctantly goes out to a ballroom one night and meets a nice teacher named Clara (Betsy Blair). Though Marty and Clara hit it off, his relatives discourage him from pursuing the relationship, and he must decide between his family’s approval or a shot at finding romance.
    Initial release: April 11, 1955 (New York City)
    Director: Delbert Mann
    Screenplay: Paddy Chayefsky
    Story by: Paddy Chayefsky
    Awards: Academy Award for Best Picture

    “Marty” has been fashioned into a sock picture. It’s a warm, human, sometimes sentimental and an enjoyable experience. Full review

    Ronald Holloway
    Variety
    Enormously influential, it spawned Hollywood’s interest in smaller scale, prosaic dramas, few of which failed to match its resonance. Full review

    William Thomas
    Empire

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    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Anyone?

    Is Guardians 2 anyone else’s favourite Marvel movie so far?

    Finished my 4th watch-through, and my overall consensus is that it was a huge improvement over the first one, considering that movie was still great/fantastic in my eyes.

    Though theres much more comedy here than before, they still managed to bring in excellent dialogue, amazing acting (especially Pratt, and in that scene at the end…), probably the most diverse colour palette i’ve seen in a movie in a while, fantastic cgi etc.

    They took everything that made the first movie great, expanded it, and added elements from the other movies that have a more serious tone, making it feel like a product that doesn’t feel like just one genre. It takes several, blends them together, and provides something so fantastic. I love this movie so much, and i didn’t want to share any thoughts until i’d had decent amounts of watch throughs.

    Anyone else feel the same? Or anyone who thinks differently? I’d love to hear

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    2017 ‧ Fantasy/Science fiction film ‧ 2h 18m

    Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter’s parentage is revealed.
    Initial release: April 19, 2017 (Hollywood)
    Director: James Gunn
    Box office: 862.9 million USD
    Budget: 200 million USD
    Music composed by: Tyler Bates
    Critic reviews
    Marvel’s favorite motley crew of reformed outlaws is back for another space adventure full of classic tunes, epic battles, and charming comedy.Full review

    Sandie Angulo Chen
    Common Sense Media
    It doesn’t so much deepen the first “Guardians” as offer a more strenuous dose of fun to achieve a lesser high. Full review

    Owen Gleiberman
    Variety
    Whether you saw or avoided the original Guardians, that choice will likely inform what you do with Vol. 2, because this sequel flies in the same content universe. Full review
    Paul Asay
    Plugged In
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doubles-down on everything that audiences loved about its predecessor, to still-entertaining but diminished returns. Full review
    Sandy Schaefer
    Screen Rant

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    ‘Sunshine’ is the bleakest and most beautiful sci-fi movies ever made

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    Ten years later, ‘Sunshine’ remains one of the bleakest and most beautiful sci-fi movies ever made

    The first time I saw Sunshine, it was in a movie theater packed with awkward men (in my memory, the audience was at least 90 percent male). When the movie ended, my friend and I spent an extra 10 minutes on the floor, trying to find his misplaced glasses.

    Despite the sub-optimal viewing conditions, I remember feeling genuinely thrilled by what I’d seen. Sunshine, it seemed to me, was pointing to a promising new direction for science fiction film.

    It was the second collaboration between director Danny Boyle, screenwriter Alex Garland and star Cillian Murphy. Their first, 28 Days Later, had been a surprising success. In addition to reinventing and revitalizing the zombie movie, it showed how low-budget, handheld filmmaking could be used to blend science fiction and horror in a way that was both emotionally compelling and scary as hell.

    And although it was more science fictional than 28 Days Later, with a larger budget, Sunshine still seemed very much like a spiritual successor, bringing the same indie approach to outer space.

    Sadly, any hopes about the film’s broader impact quickly faded. After its release in the summer of 2007, Sunshine underperformed globally, making only $32 million (compared to the $85 million earned by 28 Days Later), with a paltry $3.6 million in the U.S. One of the actors, future Captain America Chris Evans, started bringing it up in interviews as an example of how no one had seen his “good” movies. And while Boyle, Garland and Murphy have each had their subsequent successes, they haven’t made another film together.

    Still, Sunshine may be the movie I’ve rewatched most in the decade since then. Usually, when I mention it in conversation, people just stare at me blankly, but once in a while, someone’s eyes will light up and they’ll say, “Oh my God, I love that movie!” (One of the greatest moments of my life was briefly geeking out about it with Oscar Isaac, who auditioned for a role in Sunshine and was subsequently cast in Garland’s Ex Machina.)

    The movie seems to be remembered fondly outside my social circle, too — it was included in a recent “10 years later” screening series at my neighborhood movie theater, and it just appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the best sci-fi movies of the 21st century (at least 30 spots too low, but still)….Source

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    Matt Schrader: Film Music Documentary

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    I’m Matt Schrader (director) and I spent the last three years interviewing 60+ Hollywood film composers for SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY out today!

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    🎹🎸🎷 TRAILER (2:20): youtube.com/watch?v=9K6RwDM8VFE

    🎼🎻🎺 WHERE TO WATCH: score-movie.com

    SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY explores where composers get their inspiration and music’s power to give goosebumps.

    Featuring Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Danny Elfman, James Cameron, Quincy Jones, Trent Reznor, Randy Newman and more than 60 Hollywood composers and filmmakers shot over the last three years.

    Our SCORE team is here with me to answer your questions about film music’s modern renaissance! From the surging popularity of film composer to the explosion in live-to-picture film concerts and Hans Zimmer’s international tour!

    PROOF

    Matt Schrader is a three-time Emmy Award-winning news producer and filmmaker and a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. In 2014, he left his career in television journalism to pursue SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY, his first feature-length film.

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    The Matrix – When Trinity falls in love with Neo

    The Oracle told Neo that he was not The One, but that he had potential.

    Trinity says after Neo dies that the Oracle said that the man she loved would be The One. She then says Neo can’t be dead because she loves him implying he is The One.

    My question is, was he The One before that moment? Or did Trinity have a larger part in this process than I previously thought before. Does this mean that she ultimately decided his fate as The One because she loved him, or did she love him because he was The One?

    It’s like the chicken and the egg and I find it symbolic of love itself and how many times it takes someone seeing the potential within you and through that recognition they inspire your personal growth even further, and I found it sweet. But also somewhat unsettling as this also implies Trinity was one of the most powerful influences in the trilogy, and it makes me wonder if she had the power to fall in love with someone else, would that person be the One instead of Keanu ?

    Anyways…great movie

    The Matrix
    1999 ‧ Fantasy/Science fiction film ‧ 2h 30m

    Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, can answer his question — What is the Matrix? Neo is contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), a beautiful stranger who leads him into an underworld where he meets Morpheus. They fight a brutal battle for their lives against a cadre of viciously intelligent secret agents. It is a truth that could cost Neo something more precious than his life.
    Initial release: March 31, 1999 (USA)
    Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
    Featured song: Main Title / Trinity Infinity
    Producer: Joel Silver
    Screenplay: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
    Critic reviews
    This film is heavy on special effects and brooding paranoia, light on plot, dialogue, character, and even coherence. Full review

    The deliciously inventive Wachowskis have delivered the syntax for a new kind of movie: technically mind-blowing, style merged perfectly with content and just so damn cool. Full review

    Ian Nathan
    Empire
    If fashion dictates choosing sides, it’s a lock for the kinky rebels who wear black leather and cool shades. Full review

    Peter Travers
    Rolling Stone
    Late in the 21st century, man develops artificial intelligence (referred to simply as the Machines). The Machines take control of Earth. Man fights back. Full review
    Steven Isaac
    Plugged In

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    Appreciating the subtleties of 'The Godfather'

    So, everyone knows about The Godfather. It’s widely regarded as the greatest gangster film ever made & one of the best of all time, in any category. Here, I’ll attempt to shine some light on the subtle details that are used throughout the film which I’ve never seen pointed out.

    Now, everyone knows about the famous scenes & dialogues; ‘Offer he can’t refuse’, ‘The horse head’, ‘Leave the gun, take the canoli’, ‘Sleeping with the fishes’ etc. What everyone seems to miss (or atleast never seem to mention), are the little clues that are placed through-out the film, that predict of things to come. Without further ado:-

    The Wedding Scene

    Nothing wrong in this scene; seems like a perfectly good gangster wedding, where everyone’s drinking, dancing & enjoying themselves, but look closely.

    1. The kid who drools over the amount of cash being given out (“all cash, small bills, in that little silk purse, if only this was someone else wedding”) is the same guy that betrayed the Corleone family for the first hit on the Don. This small scene, masquerading as a comedic effect, shows this kid as being open to bribery.
    2. A photographer takes a picture of Don Barzini, only to get roughed by one of his goons. They then hands him the negative from the camera, which is promptly destroyed. Seems like a perfectly normal thing gangsters might do. Only, it also shows how Don Barzini wanted to stay in the shadows, which is important for the plot later on.

    Clemenza & Tessio

    Clemenza is shown dancing & enjoying himself at the wedding, like if it was his own daughters wedding. Tessio, on the other hand, is only sitting around, or shown dancing with a little girl. This, to me, shows that Clemenza is fully loyal, committed, while Tessio is holding back. Also, Clemenza congratulates Michael on the Don’s survival when he arrives at home. He jokes about Michale’s relationship with Kay, offers cooking tips & teaching him how to shoot. Tessio’s never shown doing any such thing, like he’s holding back on the ‘personal relationship’ part.

    The use of alcohol through-out critical scenes

    The number of times Coppolla has used alcohol in critical scenes is striking. I can’t say for certain if it means anything, but here’s a break-down of when it’s used.

    1. Don Corleone refills Sollazzo’s glass with wine when he first comes to discuss going into business together.
    2. Sollazzo offers it to Hagen when discussing terms of a deal, after the hit on the Godfather.
    3. Santino suggests it to the kid that betrayed the Don for his attempted assatination.
    4. Hagen takes a shot himself, before breaking the news of Santino’s death to the Don.
    5. Michael offers Carlo a drink when confirming that it was him that got Santino killed.

    I also find it intriguing that Michael lets it be known publicly, during a meeting with Clemenza, & Tessio, that Hagen is out as consiglieri, & he’ll be moving forward with Carlo, but when confronting him after the baptism, he indicates that he’s always been on to him.

    The Godfather
    1972 ‧ Drama film/Drama ‧ 2h 58m

    Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, this mob drama, based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). When the don’s youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), reluctantly joins the Mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay (Diane Keaton), he is drawn deeper into the family business.
    Release dateMarch 24, 1972 (Canada)
    Critic reviews
    So, at the bottom line, the film has a lot of terrific mood, one great performance by Pacino, an excellent character segue by Brando, and a strong supporting cast. Full review

    A.D. Murphy
    Variety
    Epic in scope while maintaining a patience and intimacy characteristic of European art cinema, “The Godfather” is rightly considered one of the greatest films ever made. Full review

    Elliot Panek
    Common Sense Media
    With performances, style and substance to savour, this shows how it is possible to smash box office records without being mindless. Full review

    Kim Newman
    Empire

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    Carey Mulligan Confesses She Didn’t Love Her Work in ‘The Great Gatsby’

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    Carey Mulligan Confesses She Wasn’t Thrilled With Her Work in ‘The Great Gatsby’

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    Carey Mulligan confesses that she has doubts about her 2013 performance as Daisy Buchanan in the tentpole “The Great Gatsby.”

    “I didn’t love my work in ‘Gatsby,’” Mulligan says about the Baz Luhrmann spectacle that grossed $351 million worldwide. “I’m not sure if I slight kind of lost my way because I was intimidated by the scale of it. I think I might have been overawed by my experience and intimidated by the level of performances around me.”

    She continued, “It was how big it was and how visual it was. I definitely felt there were fleeting moments where I really found the character and then I felt like I lost her a little bit. I’ve never been wholly thrilled about my work in it.”

    Mulligan beat out every actress in Hollywood when she nailed an audition with Leonardo DiCaprio to play Daisy. “It was almost like this ‘America’s Got Talent’ casting thing around the role,” she says. “And then it was the expectation of playing the part.”

    She crammed non-stop about the 1920s and author F. Scott Fitzgerald. “I love the character so much and I spent so much time preparing,” she says. “It might not have translated onto the screen. I think I let my own security get in my own way. In that respect, I wish I could do it again.”

    On the other hand, it’s notoriously hard translating a Fitzgerald character into film. “It was just a tricky one,” Mulligan says. “Maybe I tried to put too many things in and they ended up blurring. And maybe I could have been more specific. I found the world so fascinating in Zelda and Ginevra King” — the socialite who is believed to be Fitzgerald’s muse — “and everything around F.Scott Fitzgerald and their relationship.”…Source

    The Great Gatsby
    2013 ‧ Drama film/Romance ‧ 2h 23m
    Midwest native Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) arrives in 1922 New York in search of the American dream. Nick, a would-be writer, moves in next-door to millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and across the bay from his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her philandering husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton). Thus, Nick becomes drawn into the captivating world of the wealthy and — as he bears witness to their illusions and deceits — pens a tale of impossible love, dreams, and tragedy.
    Release date: May 10, 2013 (Canada)
    Director: Baz Luhrmann
    Box office: 351 million USD
    Budget: 105 million USD
    Awards: Academy Award for Best Costume Design
    Critic reviews
    Baz Luhrmann is a polarizing director. Full review

    S. Jhoanna Robledo
    Common Sense Media
    Those looking for something more sophisticated (but no less visually entertaining ) than the average summer blockbuster, Great Gatsby 3D offers a mix of old Hollywood grandeur and new Hollywood edge.Full review
    Kofi Outlaw
    Screen Rant
    Despite DiCaprio’s prize performance, purists will fume, but even as lit-crashing razzle-dazzle entertainment Luhrmann’s adaptation is a candelabrum too far. Full review

    Ian Nathan
    Empire
    Some will find that this fresh-faced Baz Luhrmann/Leonardo DiCaprio movie infuses the classic book with new life. That may be good. But is it a great Gatsby? Full review
    Paul Asay
    Plugged In

    CatheterC0wb0y: I don’t really blame Carey on this. If you watched the trailers you could tell this director was gonna throw most substance with this film out the window in favor of some very weird “1920s in the 2010s” style. While the movie isn’t flat out horrible, it is incredibly convoluted to the point that it doesn’t really know if it wants to take itself 100% seriously.

    HenroTee: I didn’t love the film, but I don’t remember anything negative about her performance. I guess you are your own worst critic. Though I do wish she did more bigger and out there films and it’s a shame Gatsby turned her off from doing them. She is a phenomenal actress and she was kinda the “it” girl around 2011-2013.

    BottledTales: Hm, that’s interesting. I personally really loved her in The Great Gatsby. I got the similar feel about her as I did about Daisy while reading the book, so no complaints from me.

    Boxxcars: I thought she was a great Daisy. She deserved a better adaptation.

    Delta_Assault: I confess I’d have to agree.

    Daisy needs a sort of entrancing quality that makes you want to be with her, even though she’s ultimately a shallow rich girl who doesn’t have much in the way of thoughtful ideas. That magnetism that makes you see what Gatsby sees in her. Obviously, she’s symbolic of wealth and money, that’s what any literary analysis tells you about the book. But her in person also needs that kind of entrancing glamor and beauty and spirit that can connect to an audience, in place of just this idea of money. That takes a special kind of quality.

    _DiscoNinja_: Actors should follow Bob Hoskins example. He waited over 20 years to shit on Super Mario Bros.

    NYPD-BLUE: I loved this movie and believe Mulligan and DiCaprio were amazing together.

    MBAMBA0: She was badly miscast.

    Daisy should be around Gatsby’s age and more of a glamorous beauty – while very pretty, Mulligan was too young and girlish.

    It may be a cliche to cast Kate Winslett with Dicaprio, but she would have been good, or Angelina Jolie.

    pooroldben: I actually think Leo wasn’t great in this either, and I’ve never really been a fan of Toby Maguire. But concede I think the overall fault is with the director. I wish he could have put some of the magic of strictly ballroom into it.

    AndalusianGod: For me, the only glaring fault of The Great Gatsby movie was the awful soundtrack produced by Jay-Z.

    golbezexdeath: Neither were we.

    MikeArrow: She was miscast to begin with. Seeing her underneath Gatsby’s narration really highlighted how she doesn’t fit the description of the character at all.

    Sgt_Funky: i hate when actors do this, i prefer when they stand by their work

    rupertdyland: All she can play is posh english people. Like most private school actors and actresses. Anything out of their comfort sound they melt.

  • in

    Jackie Chan's "Around the World in 80 Days" widely-panned. Your reaction?

    Do you ever find out movies you’ve loved all these years were widely-panned? How’s your reaction?

    I have two in mind for me.

    Jackie Chan’s “Around the World in 80 Days” was immensely enjoyable for me. I was stuck in an airplane as a kid once and I would have died of impatience and boredom had it not been for Jackie Chan. It was funny enough to make me laugh. It had recognizable stars I liked. I liked everything about Jackie Chan’s bad english. His kung-fu. I liked the hot blonde chick with the cute accent. And I just liked the wacky steam-punk-y old-timey vibe.

    Anyways I recently decided to wiki the film, and turns out…it was blasted by critics and viewers, it almost feels like I’m the only one in the world who enjoyed it. Admittedly I saw it when I was relatively young, and in an airplane. Still. Jackie Chan! In a rather creative setting! Comedy! Old-timey setting! Schwarzeneggar’s last film before ascending to the position of Governor! NO CHRIS TUCKER!!!! What’s not to love? No Chris Tucker!

    Other than that, there’s also the western Godzilla. Why? Because I was a kid, and it had a really big dinosaur.

    Around the World in 80 Days
    2004 ‧ Action/Romance ‧ 2 hours
    Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) is an inventor living in Victorian England. He believes he can travel around the world in 80 days. Another inventor (Jim Broadbent) challenges him to make the trip, and Phileas agrees. Accompanying Phileas on his journey are his loyal manservant, Passepartout (Jackie Chan), and Monique (Cécile de France), a beautiful navigator. Utilizing a variety of transportation means and Passepartout’s martial arts skills, the trio embarks on a globe-spanning adventure.

    Initial release: June 13, 2004 (Los Angeles)
    Director: Frank Coraci
    Box office: 75 million USD
    Budget: 110 million USD
    Story by: Jules Verne

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